New tax on healthcare may be rolled back

The government has indicated that it will reconsider the imposition of the controversial service tax on healthcare and re-examine other contentious tax proposals announced in the union budget for 2011-12.

"Since the presentation of the budget, I have received several suggestions and representations, including feedback from members (MPs) on taxation proposals. These are under examination," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said during discussions on the budget in Lok Sabha on Friday. 

The minister also said that educational institutions and hospitals would be treated as infrastructure sub-sectors and capital investment in them would be eligible for the finance ministry's viability gap funding scheme.

Commenting on the power situation, Mukherjee said, "We hope to add 15,000 MW by the end of the current financial year. India has already added about 10,462 mw of power capacity from April 2010 to February 2011, which is one of the highest capacity additions in a year, he said. 

Even though India has initiated various initiatives including ultra mega power projects (UMPPs), the demand for electricity is growing. The capacity addition target for the 11th Five Year Plan (ending March 31, 2012) is little over 62,000 MW. Currently, India has installed power generation capacity of over 175,000 MW.